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22 But when Felix heard these things, having more accurate knowledge of the Way, he adjourned the proceedings and said, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will make a decision on your case.” 23 So he commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him. 24 And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” 26 Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him. 27 But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.

 

After hearing both sides of the case against Paul, Felix kept Paul in custody but permitted him visitors. During this period, Felix held private meetings with Paul, hoping to receive bribes from him. Felix never made a verdict about Paul’s trial; he adjourned the case without a decision. Two years later, Festus succeeded Felix.

24:22

But when Felix heard these things, having more accurate knowledge of the Way,

Lysias had already launched Paul’s case by a formal letter to Felix and affirmed that the matter was an issue of Jewish law and he was not guilty of a Roman capital crime (Acts 23:29). Felix had some prior knowledge about the group called “the Way,” but obtained a “more accurate knowledge” of them.

he adjourned the proceedings and said, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will make a decision on your case.”

Felix decided to delay Paul’s case until the Roman commander, Claudius Lysias, came from Jerusalem (Acts 23:26-27). There is no record of Felix summoning Lysias to come to testify.

24:23

So he commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him.

Felix commanded a centurion to put Paul in custody but gave liberty for his friends to visit him. His friends would care for his physical needs. He was kept under military custody. Out of fear of an uprising, Felix chose to appease the Jews rather than make a legal decision.

24:24

And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.

While waiting in custody in Caesarea, Felix came to the Praetorium with his wife, Drusilla, a Jewish woman, to meet with Paul privately to hear testimony about his faith in Christ. Drusilla divorced her husband to marry Felix, breaking Jewish law. She was the daughter of Herod Agrippa I and Felix’s third wife.

24:25

Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”

Paul spoke of the implications of the gospel and that it carried moral and ethical consequences when Felix and his wife visited him in the Praetorium. After hearing Paul’s testimony, Felix was fearful of what he heard. The apostle reasoned about “righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come.” He told Paul to “go away for now, but when Felix had “a convenient time” he would call for the apostle.

24:26

Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him.

Luke reported why Felix became apprehensive and afraid of what Paul said in this verse. The core values of the governor were greed and power. He wanted a bribe of money from Paul.

24:27

But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.

Felix never decided on Paul’s case. He took the safe way of handling Paul’s case by not offending the Jews. Felix left Paul in military custody for two years because he wanted the political favor of the Jews. The Roman government removed him from office because he failed to keep the peace between Jews and Gentiles in Caesarea. He was succeeded in leadership two years later by Porcius Festus.

PRINCIPLE:

Believers should seize every opportunity to share the gospel.

APPLICATION:

Christians should have poise when charged with a crime before government. Believers can share the gospel under any circumstance with the proper approach. Paul kept his composure through the entire experience of trial and interaction with Felix. He was a model for us for presenting the gospel with poise and focusing on the gospel rather than personal attitudes toward others.

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